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IU Chemistry Professor says there are still a lot of questions surrounding MERS

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With the first U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Northwestern Indiana, we wanted to know how concerned Michiana residents should be.

Indiana University Chemistry Professor David Giedroc says there are still lot of questions surrounding MERS.  "My perspective is it's not an incredibly contagious virus, although again, since this originated in the Middle East, there is very little known about how the virus is actually transmitted from human to human," he says. 

Giedroc says MERS is closely related to SARS, which he says was the world's first pandemic in 2002-2003.  "SARS was a nightmare in the sense that human to human transmission was quite extensive," he says.  Giedroc does not believe MERS rises to the same level.  "It cannot be incredibly contagious, otherwise this would be a pandemic already."

"There's some evidence that you can get this disease by touching infected camels," he says.  We asked the professor if you can get the virus from touching an infected human.  "That seems highly unlikely to me, but there's not enough known about the mode of human to human transmission," he says. 




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